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Publication numberUS4568135 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 06/724,934
Publication dateFeb 4, 1986
Filing dateApr 19, 1985
Priority dateSep 29, 1983
Fee statusLapsed
Publication number06724934, 724934, US 4568135 A, US 4568135A, US-A-4568135, US4568135 A, US4568135A
InventorsRobert H. Frantz
Original AssigneeAmp Incorporated
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Slide latch mechanism
US 4568135 A
A latching mechanism for securing a pair of electrical connectors together in a mated condition is formed by a latching member and spring mounted on the mating face of one connector and a pair of lugs mounted on the mating face of the other connector. Thus, the connectors are freed for the addition of other accessories, such as shielding housings. The mechanism is simplified by the spring directly acting between the latching member and the one connector.
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I claim:
1. A latching mechanism for latchably securing complementary D-type electrical connectors and like elongate connectors, each said connector being of the type having a peripheral flange with a mounting hole through each end thereof, said latching mechanism being of the type comprising a stamped and formed metal latching member carried by one of said connectors for sliding movement relative thereto in the elongate direction, cooperable latching means fixed to the flange of the other said connector, and spring means effective between said latching member and said one of said connectors to urge said latching member into latching engagement with said cooperable latching means when said connectors are mated, wherein said spring means is fixed to said latching member, said spring means bearing directly against said peripheral flange of said one connector to urge said member into latching engagement with the cooperable latching means on the other connector.
2. Latching mechanism as in claim 1 wherein said latching member is provided with a pair of slots which align with respective mounting holes at opposite ends of said flange on said one connector, said slots receiving respective bolts therethrough for slidably mounting said latching member against said flange, said bolts being secured to respective holes in said flange.
3. Latching mechanism as in claim 1 wherein said latching member is mounted against the mating face of said flange on said one connector.
4. Latching mechanism as in claim 1 wherein said cooperable latching means is fixed against the mating face of said flange on said other connector.

This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 537,201 filed Sept. 29, 1983, now abandoned.

The present invention relates to a latching mechanism for joining electrical connectors in a mated condition and in particular to one which is mounted entirely on a forward mating face of the connector.

There are many well known latching systems for electrical connectors. Examples of some of the known devices can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,178,051, 4,067,633, 4,172,627, 4,344,663, and 4,367,003. While many of these prior art mechanisms are satisfactory in operation in providing one hand, two hand, or even one hand/one end operation of the latch, they are not universal in their ability to be applied to any connector, particularly those requiring shielding and having no available room to the rear of the connector. The present invention overcomes this difficulty by providing a latching mechanism which is mounted entirely on the forward mating end of the connector.

The present invention is a latching mechanism for securing together a pair of mated electrical connectors. The mechanism includes a pair of lugs integral with one connector member, a latching member slidable across the mating face of the other mating member, and a spring acting between the latching member and the other mating member. The latching lugs and the latching member are both mounted on the mating faces of the respective members leaving the rear portions open for attachment of ancillary devices, such as shielding.

The present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a first embodiment of the subject invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevation of an end portion of the subject invention;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of one end of the latching member; and

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view, similar to FIG. 1, showing an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

The subject latching assembly 10 is used in conjunction with a mating plug member 12 and a mating receptacle member 14 of known configuration such as those shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,101,229 or 3,879,099 or 4,062,616, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference. There are generally the type of electrical connector known in the industry as a "D" or "subminiature D" connector. The plug and receptacle members 12, 14 each include housings 16, 18 of insulative material carrying a plurality of pin and receptacle terminals (not shown). Each member is enclosed within a two piece metal shell 20, 22, 24, 26 with each shell defining a peripheral flange 30, 32 with mounting holes 34, 36, 38, 40 at each end of the respective flanges.

The present invention includes an elongated latching member 42, a pair of latching lugs 44, 46 and a spring 48. The latching member 42 is an elongated member having a pair of parallel spaced side rails 50, 52 joined at the ends by transverse portions defining upstanding lugs 54, 56, each with a projection 58, 60 and slot 62, 64. The latching member 42 further includes an end wall 66 extending normal to the direction of movement of the latching member. The spring 48 is mounted in cantilever fashion on the end wall 66.

Each lug 44, 46 has a mounting portion 68, 70 provided with an aperture 72, 74 and a latching portion 76, 78 extending normal to the mounting portions and containing a latching aperture 80, 82.

The latching member 42 is slidably secured to the front face of the plug member 12 by bolts 84 which pass through the mounting holes 34, 36 and are received in the slots 62, 64. It will be appreciated from FIG. 2 that this mounting arrangement allows for limited lateral movement of the latching member 42 and that the reaction of the spring 48 is between one end of the flange 30 and the end wall 66. It should also be noted from this figure that, should it be desired, the end wall 66 can be formed in the opposite direction, that is to say in the same direction as the lugs 54, 56, if spacing makes such a requirement. The latching lugs 44, 46 are mounted on the respective ends of the flange 32 by bolts 86 passing through the holes 72, 38 and 74, 40, respectively.

The operation of the subject latching device should be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Likewise, the advantages of the front face mounting should be apparent. Movement of the latching number 42 to the right in the drawings would compress the spring 48 between end wall 66 and metal shell 20 and allow the projections 58, 60 to move past the latching portions 76, 78. The plug member and receptacle members 12, 14 can now be mated. In the mated condition the latching member 42 is released and driven to the left by force of the spring 48 acting against metal shell 20 to bring the projections 58, 60 into the apertures 80, 82, as shown in FIG. 2, to latch the members 12, 14 together.

The alternate embodiment of the subject invention is shown in FIG. 4 with the change being that the lugs on the receptacle member are formed as integral portions of the shells. In this embodiment lugs 92, 94 are formed at the opposite ends of and integral with at least one of the shells 88. 80. Each of the lugs 92, 94 has an aperture 96 therein to receive projections 58, 60 of the latching member 42.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3566336 *Aug 30, 1968Feb 23, 1971IttConnector assembly
US4002389 *Jul 11, 1975Jan 11, 1977Bell Telephone Laboratories, IncorporatedSelf latching and unlatching connector assembly
US4172627 *Jan 4, 1978Oct 30, 1979Ricros Andre PMultiple electrical connecting device
US4178051 *Jun 21, 1978Dec 11, 1979Amp IncorporatedLatch/eject pin header
US4344663 *Apr 8, 1980Aug 17, 1982Compagnie Industrielle Des Telecommunications Cit-AlcatelConnector-locking device
US4367003 *Sep 15, 1980Jan 4, 1983Amp IncorporatedConnector latching mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4762505 *Apr 16, 1987Aug 9, 1988Amp IncorporatedPositive retention connector latch
US4838808 *Jun 15, 1988Jun 13, 1989Amp IncorporatedShielded electrical connector and latch mechanism therefor
US4842542 *Dec 7, 1988Jun 27, 1989Amp IncorporatedConnector with removable latch block and removable latch block therefor
US4880392 *Feb 24, 1989Nov 14, 1989Schieferly Stephen BSlidelatch securing post
US4995826 *Aug 18, 1989Feb 26, 1991Amp IncorporatedConnector having an improved slide latch and a slide latch member therefor
US5021002 *Dec 20, 1989Jun 4, 1991Burndy CorporationSnap-lock electrical connector with quick release
US5096436 *Jan 9, 1991Mar 17, 1992Burndy CorporationMethod of manufacturing a cable connector assembly
US5207593 *Aug 18, 1992May 4, 1993Molex IncorporatedLatch release mechanism for mating electrical connectors
US5234357 *Jul 30, 1992Aug 10, 1993Hirose Electric Co., Ltd.Lock mechanism for electrical connector
US5397246 *Jun 3, 1993Mar 14, 1995The Whitaker CorporationPull-to-release in-plane latch for electrical connectors
US5580268 *Mar 31, 1995Dec 3, 1996Molex IncorporatedLockable electrical connector
US5741150 *Dec 19, 1996Apr 21, 1998The Whitaker CorporationUnitary spring latch for an electrical connector assembly
US5941726 *Oct 22, 1997Aug 24, 1999The Whitaker CorporationInterlocking release latching system for electrical connector
US5971790 *Oct 31, 1997Oct 26, 1999The Whitaker CorporationUnitary spring latch for an electrical connector assembly
US7374448 *Nov 3, 2006May 20, 2008Cadwell Lab IncElectrical connector locking system
US20080108244 *Nov 3, 2006May 8, 2008Cadwell Laboratories, Inc.Electrical connector locking system
U.S. Classification439/350, 439/347, 439/357
International ClassificationH01R13/627, H01R13/648
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/648, H01R13/6275
European ClassificationH01R13/627D
Legal Events
Jul 26, 1989FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jul 19, 1993FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Sep 9, 1997REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Feb 1, 1998LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Apr 14, 1998FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 19980204